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Alan White

When my kit was simpler....

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When my kit was simpler, I had one telescope and 3 eyepieces.

Observed plenty and enjoyed myself.

Nowadays it’s 3 telescopes, 8 eyepieces (much culled) and goodness knows how many filters, diagonals etc.

So was it simpler in your astronomy and do you have pictures and thoughts.

My EP case was very empty..

62194D21-F25B-4377-9CD4-72A8E8024E8A.thumb.jpeg.250c8b786e89b003dbef1526fc29743f.jpeg

 

 

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For many years (decades!) I used nothing more than a pair of 7x50 bins - simplicity epitomised! I still use them, but tend to only go out when I set up the imaging rig, so probably not as much as previously. There's logic in there somewhere!!

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My first set up was 70mm 12-60x hand held Binoculars... later hot-rodded with a Horizon 8115 mount.

My first scope set up was maybe a couple of years later - a ST120 with a 25mm and 10mm plossls.

My main recollection of the early days was going through the various wow moments as I saw new objects such as Jupiter moons, Saturn, M31 etc, and also quite a few big fails such as taking ages to finally see M31, or a session going for galaxies in Ursa major and having a 0% success rate.

I used to use maps and would take them out in plastic sleeves on a music stand and a red light, but at some point I discovered sky safari and without any particular intention to, I gradually dropped maps and now only use the app. 

Those days were good but I'm happier with my current lot in astro-life.

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Forty years ago one telescope one eyepiece built-in zoom Tasco 60mm.

Today one telescope three eyepieces one powermate.

As happy as I have ever been.

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15 minutes ago, StarryEyed said:

Forty years ago one telescope one eyepiece built-in zoom Tasco 60mm.

Today one telescope three eyepieces one powermate.

As happy as I have ever been.

That is nice and simple, has it complicated beyond this at anytime?

And please tell what is the scope and 3 eyepieces you have now?

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4 hours ago, Alan White said:

That is nice and simple, has it complicated beyond this at anytime?

And please tell what is the scope and 3 eyepieces you have now?

Yes it got more complicated and I one morning about three years ago I grabbed an 80mm on and EQ5 with a home made wooden tripod by the neck, dragged it out in to the back garden to view Jupiter while it was still dark before I went to work. One of the best views I had because it was spontaneous and a great sky. when I was on the train later I realised I had a massive grin on my face which seemed to bother some other passengers and I  realised I didn't need all that other stuff. It was in fact a distraction that got in the way of actually having some kind of a connection with the night sky. I am still slimming it all down. I just got a light weight tripod and AZ GTI. So I won't be dragging anything anymore. Still a couple more changes. I am on holiday and it's all in one cabin case and the tripod in a bigger cases. Had a couple of looks this last week and hoping for a couple more in the next.

Tak. FC100DF, APM UFF 30, Delite 9mm, Vixen LV 7.5m, 2.5 powermate.

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I can’t say it was more simple back in the day as I have less than three years under my wings. However, sometimes, more is not less..... Got an Orion starter kit, Space probe 130st on an eq2.

The OTA pretty good, the mount, awful. Saved for an NEQ5 synscan and the OTA is a different bit of kit. I know many suffer from aperture fever but I have since flocked it, bought proper collimating tools and a PDS focuser arrives tomorrow from FLO.

I want to know how much I can get get out of this little tube before I move onto bigger, which might not be better. My first scope will only leave my possession once I have departed. It the small and basic benchmark which I will use to judge all others. Plus it’s the scope that I have seen everything up till now, so priceless to me.

Marvin

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Posted (edited)

Good question  Alan.

In around 1974 I got hold of a home built 6" reflector  and it was on a very basic equatorial mount, which could not be adjusted, and was so unstable you  could make a cup of tea whilst waiting for the image  to stop moving. I did discard this and fabricated something much better at a later date. The thing was I thought it was just incredible, I could see the Moon close up, I could see Jupiter and Saturn with rings and moons. I had one eyepiece, with an in built barlow, and I never considered that I needed anything else, and never had anything else for at least 2 decades

For me it was simpler even though The kit I now have is light years ahead of what I used to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Saganite
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When I started out 30+ years ago, for the 1st couple of decades I had a single scope and a small set of eyepieces. It was probably around the time that I joined this forum (nearly 14 years ago !) that I moved to having a couple of scopes but still used a relatively small set of eyepieces.

Over the past 3-4 years my kit seems to have expanded to 7 scopes and 3 sets of eyepieces. I tend to use just one scope and one eyepiece set during a session though so I suppose things are not that much more complicated.

I have stayed generally away from scopes that involve computers and power supplies, sticking mostly to manual alt-azimuth mounts for observing.

I have not tried to assess the degree of satisfaction that I gain from the hobby and how that relates to the amount of kit that I posess. I might get an answer that I don't like !

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@John sometimes just owning the kit is satisfaction in itself.

My dear old Dad used to buy camera kit, take very few pictures, but sit and play with the kit for hours in his favourite armchair, gave him a great deal of satisfaction and me lots of amusement at the time, I know find myself doing the very same thing!

 

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21 minutes ago, Alan White said:

@John sometimes just owning the kit is satisfaction in itself.

My dear old Dad used to buy camera kit, take very few pictures, but sit and play with the kit for hours in his favourite armchair, gave him a great deal of satisfaction and me lots of amusement at the time, I know find myself doing the very same thing!

 

 

Hi Alan.  At the risk of thread drift -  your dad taking few pics but playing with his kit reminds me of someone I once worked with.   He was always upgrading his cameras and lenses, but we never saw any of his pics.  He would come in to work with his Pentax over his shoulder wearing it as if he couldn’t leave home without it.

One exceptionally gloomy day he came in for the night shift, I greeted him as usual, his reply -    “ do you know it didn’t get above 1/30th at 2.8 all day long........”

But I think I was probably as obsessed as he was, even though all I could afford at the time was my Praktica Nova 1 with 50mm Domiplan lens, but I was proud of my Weston III lightmeter.......👍

Happy days......Ed.

 

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On 05/08/2019 at 08:38, Alan White said:

When my kit was simpler, I had one telescope and 3 eyepieces.

 

I have used one scope and three eyepieces for the last ten years.

Evolution of my kit:
1976  10x50 bins;
2006  15x70 bins and camera tripod;
2009  C8SE scope and 3 Hyperion eyepieces.

It seems that compared many folks, I am a minimalist! That notwithstanding, my visual observing sessions mean more to me than I can express in words.

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21 minutes ago, George Jones said:

I have used one scope and three eyepieces for the last ten years.

It seems that compared many folks, I am a minimalist! That notwithstanding, my visual observing sessions mean more to me than I can express in words.

That is what my post was about George, glad simple works so well for you - does for me if I am honest.

The reality is I often use 3 eyepieces in any session at most anyways, sometimes just the one.

Sometimes it is all too easy to complicate things and take some of the pure fun away.

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I think there's a habit of collecting things, especially eyepieces. I have quite a few I never use. Just can't let go though...

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Posted (edited)

The shift from simple Dob viewing to guided imaging was a massive shift in complexity...

 

250px.jpg.6642d95066f8dd76bc3e404e93575ede.jpg

AA115-rig.thumb.jpg.e5b9f32bb60b678d4dd98b9da6d4c007.jpg

 

Edited by MattJenko
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A couple of decades back I spent my Uni years quite content with a little Meade ETX90. However, I did get to play with 14 and 16" Meade LX200's whilst studying so it might be cheating to say I was happy just using the ETX! 

Despite this cheating my in the nutshell thought is that you just make the most of what you've got. I am struggling a bit with this mind as I currently have 3 Plossls and no scopes lol 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My kit now almost mirrors my kit 18 years ago and 18 years previous to that. I have a couple of scopes, couple of mounts and less than a handful of eyepieces. I have a thing about cables, i hate them. I had the briefest play with guided imaging ever in 2008, about 2 weeks and then sold it all. I just love it simple as possible. I don't like the imaging to interfere with the visuals. Happy to have a DSLR (or mirrorless now) doing its own thing away from me, while I trawl the sky with binos or altaz mounted scope. 

I have no photos of my current kit, so can't do a then and now sort of thing. But here's my 2009 setup. This will be a trip down memory lane for Rob.

post-12650-133877352265.jpg

Edited by russ
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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, russ said:

My kit now almost mirrors my kit 18 years ago and 18 years previous to that. I have a couple of scopes, couple of mounts and less than a handful of eyepieces. I have a thing about cables, i hate them. I had the briefest play with guided imaging ever in 2008, about 2 weeks and then sold it all. I just love it simple as possible. I don't like the imaging to interfere with the visuals. Happy to have a DSLR (or mirrorless now) doing its own thing away from me, while I trawl the sky with binos or altaz mounted scope. 

I have no photos of my current kit, so can't do a then and now sort of thing. But here's my 2009 setup. This will be a trip down memory lane for Rob.

post-12650-133877352265.jpg

Does it ever!.. you just don't know where the time goes!

 

Edited by Rob
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